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It's Thanksgiving in the USA. It's 2020. By all publicized accounts it has been an inauspicious start to the dawn of a new decade. A lot has happened in the initial eleven months of it. Very little of it to the good. We've watched the Coronavirus/COVID19 tsunami spill across the globe wrecking economies, healthcare systems, and of course lives. (Not to mention the political turmoil that goes along with it!)
No, it hasn't been a great year, but it doesn't mean I haven't had a lot to be grateful for. (Knock on wood) I have worn my mask, practiced social distancing, have attempted to avoid large gatherings, and done what I can do -- and what is recommended -- to avoid catching it. COVID is no small thing, and I certainly don't want to be an arrogant turkey parading brashly around in public as if the entire pandemic is similar to a common cold. It is not. A particular individual I know who did contract COVID19, and has since recovered, said without question "it is not something anyone should have to endure and they wouldn't wish it upon their enemy." Sometimes we can become desensitized by the 24/7 media coverage and our collective guards are dropped as we question, "is it really all that bad or is it just hype?" From all personal accounts I've had it isn't hype. COVID19 is a very real thing, and one would think as a nation, as a planet, we would be past that point by now, but unfortunately we are not.
The easy response is to be grumpy about the pandemic. The restrictions. The face masks. The cancelled events. The cabin fever. It is mentally exhausting. I confess there are days where like an over watched television series the whole thing has gotten old fast, but the alternatives are not pleasant. So it is especially important to be thankful during Thanksgiving 2020 than it has been any years prior.
I'm thankful for stable health.
I'm thankful for my Father's stable health.
I am thankful that, through an abundance of caution, I have not contracted COVID19.
I'm thankful that I have the ability and the privilege to work from home during the harshest storms of the pandemic.
It is important that I rule the day, the pandemic, and the actions I take. The pandemic doesn't rule me. To focus on the things I can do rather than the things I cannot do -- half of which I probably would have procrastinated upon anyway. (A pandemic can be a great excuse machine. Procrastinators take note later!)
This isn't the first pandemic. Unfortunately it won't be the last either. One function they serve is to be a course correction. Pressing the reset. A beacon reminder of the things that are important in our lives. No, the real things that are important in our lives. Family, friends, faith in whatever form one chooses, and physical as well as mental health.
It does not mean that there is anything wrong with ambition, setting high goals, wanting to get a raise or move up the corporate ladder. Those things are part of life. It is the perspective of these things as it relates to the composite of all aspects in the pie chart of the bigger picture.
I sincerely wish everyone a very happy and safe Thanksgiving of 2020 spending time with those that are dearest to you. If it has to be through Face Time; then so be it. Remember, while family video calls maybe viewed as an inconvenience by some they are only substitutes for in-person meetings at later date. Active service members and veterans deployed all around the world have been doing it for years. You're not the first. It is not the end of the world if this holiday season is a little different. Nothing lasts forever. Not even pandemics.